mobile madness in media

They are now being used in news reporting.

Mobile phone advancements are creating new opportunities for news reporting. Al Jazeera (voted the 5th most influential brand globally in an interbrand survey in 2004) acknowledges mobile technologies’ potential and Safdar Mustafa, from Al Jazeera’s mobile media unit, discusses how mobile phones are being used in news reporting and describes a case study where a mobile phone was used to report on a bomb explosion in Chad.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Meet Vivian – the vivacious virtual vixen

Vivian, gold digger who doesn't put out

Vivian, virtual girlfriend

I recently went to Johannesburg to work at the Mobile Active08 Conference. There I encountered a number of applications and advantages of mobile phones. Mobile phones form a part of a virtual community and they connect people through various means be it Mxit, MMS or SMS.

 In Hong Kong, one is able to get a “virtual girlfriend” on your cellphone if it has video capabilities. It is modelled on the idea of the Tamagotchi pet. This has opened a whole new door for lonely men. The program was developed by a software company called Artificial Life Inc. (www.artificiallife.com).

‘Vivian’, a twenty year old gold digger, will appear on the screen as an animated figure, but is quite a needy girlfriend who requires a great deal of attention and expensive gifts. These are virtual gifts (which the ‘boyfriend’ pays real money for) but Vivian is not a slut and cybersex does not come with the package.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Facebook identities

 

Here is a podcast which explores people’s views on their online/digital identities.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Boy Oh Boy- That’s pervy!

Tara in the pool

Objectification-the child's head is cut off (by: T.Lang)

I did Fine Art at university for three years and produced work where I edited family films to show me as a child playing naked. People responded to my work by saying it bordered on the pornographic and a lecturer actually said it verged on the sinister.

Ok…I’m not blind! I know that the pixelated images and the blurred faces did reference child pornography, but these images were of me, with my consent and produced as fine art images not kiddie porn!

The intention of my images were distorted and taken out of context, but what got me thinking, was what if these seemingly innocent images were published online and distributed by individuals with paedophilic tendencies… how would I feel?

Well, disturbed to say the least… but it made me realise that there are organisations that perpetuate and distribute such indecent materials.

What is troubling is that many people share images of their children on the internet. These children are often naked in family photos. A South African artist, Terry Kurgan, was also once criticized for her work where her own children were photographed naked in their private home.

 It made me think about the various deviant communities out there in the virtual sphere and I got the chills when I read Nambla’s slogan, which read: “welcome to a world of pleasure”.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Virtual Reality: what a trip!

The Matrix
The Matrix was a popular film from 1999

Neo reaches for the red pill sitting in Morpheus’s hand and with that action, he realises that The Matrix is a huge virtual reality. The Matrix gave virtual reality a bad reputation- an evil virtual reality where blurring of real life and the virtual world become intermeshed to such an extent that the characters are unable to tell the difference from the real and virtual environments.

Virtual Reality (VR) is when someone interacts with something that isn’t actually real. Ilda Ladeira, a Computer Science PHD student at UCT, says that most people believe VR is a “fancy” technology. “What people don’t realise is that when they are playing a game on an average computer- you are experiencing VR.” Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Cannibalistic cuisine and nasty nerds

TWO men sit at a dining room table eating an exotic meal prepared by the one man. The meal of choice: the other man’s penis.

No, this is not a horror movie! But is the last meal this ‘victim’ will consume before his willing death.

Online communities offer a number of people support, advice and help, but there are also communities which use this platform as a medium of deviance.

Two computer nerds show the extent to which an online platform aided in one man’s untimely death.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Cats, computers and caring communities

A snapshot of the virtual reality environment, SecondLife

A snapshot of the virtual reality environment, SecondLife

THE thought of a virtual community may cause some people to think of geeky nerds sitting all alone playing computer games, like Second Life (which is just one form of a virtual community). But this geek is probably interacting with more people than you do on a night out on the town.

The truth is… if you email other people, you are also part of an online or virtual community.

Email is one way that people use social networks to keep in contact with others they know in ‘real life’ and they use online services as a platform to communicate with them.

The thing that makes people confused about virtual communities, is the word “community” which they associate with geographically bound groups of people. Virtual communities, on the other hand, view community as a form of social networks. These are usually formed around areas of interest and give people a sense of social identity.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized